Conductor Joel Sachs leads the New Juilliard Ensemble in works by by Pagh-Paan, Matthews, Sciarrino, and Nishimura on the opening night of Focus 2019 Presents On The Air! A Salute to 75 Years of International Radio Commissioning in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater on January 25, 2019.

Free admission (all visitors, all hours)

The six free concerts include the music of 32 composers, born in 15 countries on five continents, including five who are still composing—Jacqueline Fontyn (Belgium, b. 1930), Betsy Jolas (France, b. 1926), Sofia Gubaidulina (USSR/Germany, b. 1931), Young-Ja Lee (Korea, b. 1931), and Thea Musgrave (Scotland/U.S., b. 1928).

The festival will explore the work of several American composers, among them, Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953). Seeger, who was well-known for her interest in American folk music, was also a modernist.

Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), the only woman who was a member of Les Six, will be represented by her Sonata for Harp on January 29. Chinese composer Liu Zhuang’s (1932-2011) Wind Through Pine, for flute, prepared piano, and cello, will be performed on January 27, along with String Quartet No. 3 by Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-94), another prominent composer whose work is not often performed.

American composer Margaret Bonds (1913-72) studied with Roy Harris, who was on the Juilliard faculty, and she also was enrolled in Juilliard’s Extension Division, where she studied with Robert Starer (faculty 1949-1970). Some of Bonds’ manuscripts are housed in Juilliard’s manuscript collection. Bonds, whose Dream Portraits will be performed on January 30, studied with Florence Price (1887-1953), the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major U.S. orchestra, the Chicago Symphony. Price’s Piano Sonata will be performed on January 28.

Composer Lili Boulanger’s (1893-1918) Nocturne and Cortège for violin and piano and D’un Matin de printemps will be performed on January 30, and South African composer Priaulx Rainier (1903-86) who studied with Lili’s sister, Nadia Boulanger, will have two pieces performed during the chamber music week: Ubunzima and Dance of the Rain on January 28.

Korean composer Young-ja Lee’s (b. 1931) daughter, June Han (DMA ’04, harp), will be a panelist on the January 28 pre-concert discussion, along with Odaline de la MartinezThea Musgrave, and Joel Sachs. Young-ja Lee’s Le Pélerinage de l’Âme will be featured on the concert that follows that evening.